Finding an affordable home in Westchester County might seem as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. The reality though is that there are several cool, affordable areas in Westchester to live in. These towns focus on culture, with music and arts festivals, and have a variety of great restaurants and shopping opportunities. Close to major transportation, these areas are also ideal for commuters who want to move out of the city, but stay close enough to visit.
Pleasantville: Stacey Oestreich of The Strong Oestreich Team at Douglas Elliman nominates Pleasantville as cool and affordable. “You can get a three-bedroom home starting at $479,000,” she said. “We find many people from Brooklyn and Manhattan happily moving to and loving Pleasantville.”
The arts are also a draw to the community. “The Jacob Burns Film Center and Media Lab is a wonderful nonprofit five-screen cinema and education center that has made a huge difference to the Pleasantville and the surrounding communities through their films, guest speakers, and educational programs for children and adults,” she said. “Pleasantville has one of the best year-round farmers markets in Westchester. The summer brings the Pleasantville Music Festival with world-class headliners, breakout stars and local artists you need to know.”
In addition, Oestreich said that there is no school busing so parents walk their kids to school. “You see a true sense of community,” she said.
Victory (Tory) Miller also said that Pleasantville has a great artistic vibe and a very walkable village center. “What makes it so affordable is the type of culture you can take advantage of — at a fraction of the cost of some New York City opportunities,” said Miller, Douglas Elliman associate broker of The Miller Goldberg Team.
Yorktown: In Yorktown, buyers will get the best of both worlds. “You’re living in a suburb, but you feel like also living in a rural environment with the big farms and apple picking, and the outdoor activities you can do in the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park,” said John Joseph, with Keller Williams NY Realty in White Plains.
Joseph explains that for Yorktown’s median sales price is $439K to $565K. “The more north from New York City that you move, the less expensive it will be,” he said. “For $450,000, buyers can get a half-acre of land and 2,000 square-feet of home. You’re not going to find that in the Bronx or even in White Plains.”
Tuckahoe: It’s only a one-square mile town, but it jam packs a lot of fun and amenities into the area. “Every year they hold a music festival that’s hosted by the Generoso Pope Foundation and they had such artists as the Village People there,” said Marissa Desposati, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Scarsdale. “Tuckahoe also has a family-owned microbrewery, Broken Bow, a great public library with events for children, two train stations and older Tudors and colonials that have a lot of character on the outside, but are newer in the inside.”
Desposati explains that the median sales price of a home is $513,000, which is far under the median of the mid $600s in Westchester County. “There are a lot of Tudors and colonials and, for many, you can get a newer interior with a lot of character on the outside.”
Katonah: Those who want more property should check out Katonah, a hamlet within Bedford. “While there is a higher median sales price in Katonah at $672,000, it’s still relatively middle of the road for Westchester County,” said Desposati. “It’s a good community with a homey feel, but you’ll get a much more traditional home and more property for the price.”
Desposati loves their focus on culture as well. “They have the Katonah Museum of Art as well as the Caramoor Summer Music Festival – which is cool because it is a classical music festival,” she said. “They also have things for the kids to do, such as the Muscoot Farm for the kids.”
White Plains: Debbie Hoch and her husband grew up in White Plains, so it’s no surprise that this real estate agent with Houlihan Lawrence recommends her hometown as cool and affordable. “It’s so vibrant and has a very cool vibe with restaurants, movie theaters and other entertainment,” she said. “There’s so much to do. The mayor has been terrific about bringing in new development and putting in bike lanes. It has everything you need.”
In addition, Hoch explains that homes range from $500,000 to the high $600,000s. “Plus, White Plains taxes are the most affordable taxes in all of Westchester County,” she said.
Port Chester: This quaint village, which is part of Rye, is experiencing a rebirth, according to Scott Stumer at Keller Williams NY Realty. “You can find smaller, three-bedroom starter homes that are 1500-square foot raised ranges among the bigger homes as well,” he said. “In the last year, there were 64 units sold under $500,000.”
Stumer said that Port Chester is perfect for a young family or commuter. “There’s shopping and great restaurants, including Mario Batali’s Tarry Lodge,” he said. “The Capitol Theatre is a historic theater where residents can see shows and concerts and Rye Beach is only five minutes away. It’s only a 50-minute drive to the city.”
Yonkers: As the second largest city in New York bordering New York City, Staci Zampa said that Yonkers truly has something for everyone. “Great restaurants like Taco Project, Fortina, X20, the shopping at Ridge Hill and 35 minutes to midtown,” said Zampa of The Oliveira Team. “Yonkers has lower property taxes versus other areas of lower Westchester, making it attractively affordable as far as cost of ownership and buyers have recognized this.”
“At her recent open house, a one-bedroom condo listed for $350,000, I had over 32 potential buyers attend. Taxes were under $3,000 a year which appealed to many first-time home buyers and investors, yielding multiple offers within 72 hours on market time.”